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SEOUL, South Korea – Officials say North Korea for the first time has fired a midrange ballistic missile designed to carry a nuclear payload that flew over Japan and splashed into the northern Pacific Ocean.
The aggressive missile launch — likely the longest ever from the North — over a close U.S. ally sends a clear message of defiance as Washington and Seoul conduct war games nearby.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile traveled around 2,700 kilometers (1,677 miles). The length and type of the missile test seemed designed to show that North Korea can back up a threat to target the U.S. territory of Guam, if it chooses to do so, while also establishing a potentially dangerous precedent of sending future missile tests over Japan.